S.H. v. J.H. and H.H. (mem. dec.)

<p>MEMORANDUM DECISION Pursuant to Ind. Appellate Rule 65(D), this Memorandum Decision shall not be FILED regarded as precedent or cited before any Oct 26 2020, 9:36 am court except for the purpose of establishing CLERK the defense of res judicata, collateral Indiana Supreme Court Court of Appeals and Tax Court estoppel, or the law of the case. ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEES Zachary A. Smith Charles P. Rice Trapp Law, LLC Murphy Rice, LLP Indianapolis, Indiana South Bend, Indiana IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF INDIANA S.H., October 26, 2020 Appellant, Court of Appeals Case No. 20A-AD-994 v. Appeal from the Hamilton Superior Court J.H. and H.H., The Honorable Jonathan M. Appellees. Brown, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 29D02-2004-AD-634 Najam, Judge. Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 20A-AD-994 | October 26, 2020 Page 1 of 8 Statement of the Case [1] S.H. (“Mother”) appeals the trial court’s judicial acknowledgement of her consent to the adoption of her minor child. Mother raises three issues for our review, which we revise and restate as the following two issues: 1. Whether the trial court erred when it accepted Mother’s consent to the adoption. 2. Whether Indiana should require a birth mother to wait a certain period of time after the birth of her child prior to executing a consent to the child’s adoption. [2] We affirm. Facts and Procedural History [3] On April 1, 2020, Mother, who was nineteen years old, gave birth to a child (“Child”). The next day, Mother went to an adoption agency to “talk to them more about [her] adoption plan.” Tr. at 6. While there, Mother read and signed a waiver of notice and consent for adoption of Child. The notice stated that “the signing of this consent to adoption will result in a complete termination of [Mother’s] parental rights” and that Mother’s “consent to the adoption may not be withdrawn” unless Mother petitioned the court in a timely manner. Appellant’s App. Vol. 2 at 15-16 (emphasis removed). The waiver further stated that Mother “hereby voluntarily, unconditionally, and irrevocably” consents to Child’s adoption. Id. at 16-17 (emphasis removed). Court of Appeals of Indiana | Memorandum Decision 20A-AD-994 | October 26, 2020 Page 2 of 8 [4] In addition, the notice provided that Mother: was not under the influence of any alcohol or drugs; had had “enough time to carefully consider whether or not adoption” was in her own bests interests; was “fully aware of all implications of” the consent; and had “chosen not to be represented by an attorney.” Id. at 15-16. Mother initialed each paragraph of the consent form and signed it at 7:33 p.m. on April 2. [5] At the same time, Mother also read and signed a relinquishment of parental rights and consent to adoption checklist. In that checklist, Mother acknowledged that she was “not under the influence of any drug, medication, or any substance” that might affect her judgment, that she had no obligation to proceed with an adoption, that she ...</p><br>
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